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River Trips Clark Fork River Trips

Like the Bitterroot and Blackfoot Rivers, the Clark Fork is a river local to the Missoula Montana area. And since Bearpaw is based out of Missoula, we take a special interest in river trips on the Clark Fork. We conduct fun float trips on several sections of the Clark Fork, the most popular being our “Historic Town Float".

The Town Float begins upstream from Missoula, near Milltown Montana. Milltown was the site of a dam on the Clark Fork- it has since been removed and the river is flowing free again! We begin the trip below the old dam site and begin to float back towards Missoula. During this first stretch of river, there is a good chance of seeing bald eagles, deer, beaver, and other wildlife. Swimming is a possibility too- this is a nice stretch of river!

It is not long before the river cuts into the Legendary Hellgate Canyon- the site of ancient Blackfoot Indian raids on other tribes that were passing through the canyon on their way to buffalo hunting areas in the North-East. Floating down the river in a raft is a great place to imagine the Indian battles and to ponder the secrets of the past.

Just below Hellgate Canyon is the beautiful University of Montana campus and the town of Missoula. It is fun to float through this section of river- there is a lot to see. There is the busy Montana Grizzly’s campus, historic old town Missoula, and the Wilma building. There is fun Caras Park and the rapid at Brennan’s Wave. Often times, we can stop to get hot coffee or cold drinks in town, or can stop to do a little shopping at the Saturday Farmers Market! A little further downstream is MaCormick Park and the numerous bridges of Missoula that cross over the river. As always, our trips are designed for your enjoyment- we will try to accommodate any request.

The later section of the Historic Town Float, leaves town behind and brings the boat into the beautiful grassy river bottoms and cottonwood groves of the Kelly’s Island Area. The river divides into numerous small channels as it winds its way to the take-out point. This is such a beautiful place- one would think you were 100 miles from civilization. Once again, there is a good chance of seeing wildlife!

You will not need to bring much- your guides will set just about everything up for you. None the less, it is not a bad idea to have the following:

Sunscreen lotion
Waterproof camera
A hat with a brim
A water bottle
Anything else that will enhance your comfort
We will provide waterproof bags for your things

Each Clark Fork trip is its own adventure. Please contact us to set up your trip. Think of your trip as a custom, chartered service- we will set up meeting times and places, food and beverages, and section of the river to be boated individual to your needs and desires. This trip is designed by you and specifically operated for your enjoyment… Our prices vary according to trip desired- but all trips are “affordable”- please call to discuss the details.

Click here for real time info on the Clark Fork River water level just above Missoula, Montana


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